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Lancashire Times
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4:24 PM 22nd February 2021
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File Self Assessment Tax Returns Now To Prevent Penalties

Self Assessment taxpayers have less than one week to submit their late tax returns to prevent a £100 penalty, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has urged.

While 10.7 million taxpayers filed their return by 31 January 2021, more than 1.5 million taxpayers missed this deadline and are still to file their tax return. They are accruing interest on any unpaid tax liabilities but still have time to file and pay without incurring penalty charges.

Visit GOV.UK to find out more about Self Assessment.

Taxpayers have until 28 February to file their return and prevent a Late Filing Penalty of £100. And those who owe tax have until midnight on 1 April to pay any outstanding tax or set up a payment plan to prevent a 5% Late Payment Penalty.

Jim Harra, HMRC’s Chief Executive, said:

"Self Assessment taxpayers have until 28 February to file their tax returns and prevent being charged a £100 late filing penalty.

"Tax returns submitted during February have missed the 31 January Self Assessment deadline and are late. I’m urging anyone who is still to complete their return to not put if off any longer risking penalties and further interest on their outstanding liabilities.

"Support is available on GOV.UK for anyone worried about how to complete their tax return or how to pay their tax bill."

HMRC has delayed late filing and late payment penalties this year for Self Assessment taxpayers to help anyone who may be struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone who is worried about paying their tax can set up a payment plan online or contact HMRC for more help and support on 0300 200 3822.

Be aware of copycat HMRC websites and phishing scams. Taxpayers should search ‘self assessment’ on GOV.UK to get the correct link for their Self Assessment tax return online securely and free of charge.

They also need to be alert if someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, saying that they can claim financial help, are due a tax refund or owe tax. It might be a scam. Check GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact.

Self Assessment timeline:
31 January – Self Assessment deadline (paying and filing)
1 February – interest accrues on any outstanding tax bills
28 February – last date to file any late tax returns to avoid a late filing penalty
1 April – last date to pay any outstanding tax or make a Time to Pay arrangement, to avoid a late payment penalty
1 April – last date to set up a self-serve Time to Pay arrangement online


Taxpayers can pay their tax bill or an estimated amount online, via their bank, or by post. Check GOV.UK for more information on how to pay. Taxpayers should still pay in full if they can. This is the only way to stop interest accruing.

Alternatively, taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their tax bill on time can set up a Time to Pay arrangement to spread payment of their tax bill into monthly instalments, online via GOV.UK.

If a taxpayer’s Self Assessment debts are more than £30,000, or they need longer than 12 months to pay their debt in full, they cannot set up a Time to Pay plan online. But they may still be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement by calling the Self Assessment Payment Helpline on 0300 200 3822.

Self Assessment taxpayers who are required to make Payments on Account, and know their 2020 to 2021 tax bill is going to be lower than in 2019 to 2020 – for example due to loss of earnings because of COVID-19, can reduce their Payments on Account. Visit GOV.UK to find out more about Payments on Account and how to reduce them.

Follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s 6 essential steps to keep yourself and your business secure online by visiting CyberAware.gov.uk.